Law in Journalism


It has only been recently, since delving deeper in to the world of journalism, that I have started to seriously consider the legal aspects of journalism and the serious implications that this can sometimes have. The words defamation, libel and slander were ones that I had seen several times and heard on the news, but I have never fully understood the terms and what they mean. In basic form the law of defamation allows individuals, companies or firms (‘claimants’) to sue for damage to their reputation caused by material that is published and which makes defamatory comments about them (BBC Academy 2014). A statement can be classed as defamatory if it:

  • Lowers them in the estimation of right-thinking members of the public; and/or
  • Causes them to be shunned or avoided; and/or
  • Disparages them in their office, trade or profession; and/or
  • Exposes them to hatred ridicule or contempt.

There are also…

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